Practical Information

Thai Culture

© UNESCO Bangkok Office - Wat Pho, Thailand.

© UNESCO Bangkok Office - Wat Pho, Thailand.

In Thailand people do not normally say 'good morning', 'good afternoon', 'good evening' or 'good night’. They greet each other with the word Sawatdee, and instead of shaking hands, they put their palms together in a prayer‐like gesture and bow slightly. It is customary for the younger or lower in status to begin the greeting. When taking leave, the same word and procedure is repeated. This gesture is called a Wai. If you are greeted with a Wai you should reply with the same gesture, though it is not necessary to return a Wai to a child. Think of a Wai as you would a handshake. You will not cause offence if you Wai inappropriately in Thailand, but you may create confusion. You are not expected to return a Wai from waiting staff, drivers or other help.

Thai people have a refined sense of public image and believe strongly in the concept of saving face. That is, they will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation and endeavour not to embarrass either themselves or other people. The ideal face-saver does not bring up negative topics in conversation, or talk in an argumentative, judgmental or aggressive manner. Raising your voice or losing your temper will never be constructive in Thailand. It will result in loss of face for everyone involved, and you may be ignored as a result. You may notice Thai people smiling in the face of another’s misfortune. This is not a sign of callousness, but an attempt to save face for the person suffering misfortune. Saving face is the major source of the famous Thai smile. It is the best possible face to ease almost any situation.

What to See & Do

© UNESCO Bangkok Office - The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand.

© UNESCO Bangkok Office - The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand.

Bangkok or Krung Thep - “The City of Angels”- as it is known to its inhabitants, offers numerous attractions. A must see are Thailand’s Grand Palace, situated nearby Bangkok’s most spectacular temples, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun the Temple of Dawn, and Wat Pho the Temple of the reclining golden Buddha. For shopping lovers, the downtown districts along Silom and Sukhumvit Roads host Bangkok’s most famous shopping malls. For information about cultural attractions, events, festivals, restaurants and shopping, please visit the official website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Climate in Bangkok

Bangkok has a tropical climate with not much temperature difference between summer and winter seasons. The rainy season lasts from June to October, while the dry season is between November and May.  The daily maximum/ minimum temperatures from November- February are:

30/ 20 Celsius (C)
80/55 Fahrenheit (F) 

For more information on weather forecast, please visit Thai Meteorological Department

Currency Exchange Rate

The commercial exchange rate is subject to change daily. The exchange rate for cash is slightly lower than for travelers’ cheques. There are banks and currency exchange kiosks located at the airport. Currency exchange rate (counter rate) as of September 2013: USD1 = Thai Baht 31 to 32 approximately (http://www.scb.co.th/en/personal-banking).

It is advisable to change some money before you arrive in Bangkok, or at the airport once you have arrived, in order to deal with the first few expenses you may encounter. Alternatively, banks and exchange offices are widely available once you are in the city. It is also a good idea to carry small notes (THB 100 or smaller), since most street vendors will have trouble breaking large bills (500 or 1000). When withdrawing cash from ATMs, note that most charge a fee of THB 150 (approx. USD 4.50, EUR 3.60).

Venue

Imperial Queen's Park hotel
199 Sukhumvit Soi 22
Bangkok 10110
Thailand

All participants supported by UNESCO are booked in this hotel and do not need to take any action regarding hotel reservation.

All self-financed participants are encouraged to stay in this hotel at the negotiated special rates – please follow this link to reserve your room, Special Rate Reservations (click to view).

>> Official website of the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel

Other Options for Accommodation & Best Hotel Deals

Any hotel booking website will give you numerous options depending on which neighbourhood you want to stay. Those closest to BTS or MRT stops are most convenient. We recommend staying in the Sukhumvit District, a neighbourhood characterized by fine restaurants, bars, cafés, shopping malls and department stores. To find best hotel deals, click on www.agoda.com or Booking.com and insert the key words “Bangkok Sukhumvit”. The research engine will recommend the best deals of hotels located in the area you have selected, together with customers’ reviews.

We recommend you several hotels nearby Imperial Queens Park hotel as below:

Napa Place, Sukhumvit 36 :  http://www.napaplace.com
THB 2,178/room/night

Rembrant Hotel Bangkok, Sukhumvit 18:  http://www.rembrandtbkk.com
THB 2,336/room/night

Windsor Suites Hotel, Sukhumvit 20 :  http://www.windsorsuiteshotel.com
THB 2,667/room/night

Bangkok Hotel Lotus Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit 33 :  http://www.hotellotussukhumvit.com
THB 1,710/room/night

Arriving in Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi International Airport

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is located about 30 km east of Bangkok. Please click here for a map of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport: There is only one airport terminal; the arrival hall is located on level 2 while the departure hall is on level 4.
 
Upon arriving in Bangkok and clearing immigration and customs, the easiest way to make your way into the city is by taking a taxi. Taxis in Bangkok will
run you anywhere between THB 200 and THB 350 
(USD 6.50‐11.50, EUR 5‐8.50) depending on traffic. This amount includes a THB 50 airport 
charge applied on any fares departing from the 
airport towards the city (it does not exist in the
 opposite direction e.g. going from the city to the 
airport). The Bangkok Airport Link is also very
 economical and convenient, with fares ranging 
from THB 15 to 45. It takes you to various Skytrain
 routes, from which you can reach your final destination.

Be aware that most taxi drivers do not understand destinations in English, so it may be useful to print off your hotel destination in Thai if available. If you are unable to find this information, attendants near the taxi stands are available to translate the English address into Thai for you for free. When they do so they will hand you a slip of paper that you must keep with you until you reach your destination, it has a customer service telephone number on it and acts as a kind of insurance should your taxi driver overcharge you or run an incorrect meter. At no time should you hand the slip over to the taxi driver as the attendant who translated the address for you will already have given him your destination in Thai. Ensure that they turn on the meter to avoid a flat fare (to tell your driver this in Thai: chai meter kha for women, chai meter khrap for men). Meters always start at THB 35.

Transportation

© UNESCO Bangkok Office - The Skytrain, Bangkok, Thailand.

© UNESCO Bangkok Office - The Skytrain, Bangkok, Thailand.

Click here for a map of the Bangkok Mass Transit System map.

There are two BTS (Skytrain) lines and one MRT (underground) line. Using this option will run you roughly THB 15 to THB 40 (never more than EUR 1 or USD 1), depending on the distance you are travelling. Tickets can be purchased with THB 5 or 10 coins at the stations via machines and change can be made at the staffed booths. The BTS and MRT are air‐conditioned.

Alternatively, metered taxis are a good way to get around, especially for the parts of the city not included in the mass transit system (such as the old part of the city or Khao San road). As mentioned above taxis are much cheaper than in many big cities and the average fare will never be higher (usually cheaper) than THB 80‐120 (2 or 3 USD/EUR) if you are travelling to locations within the city.

If you choose to travel by taxi it is important to know the name of the street you are going to as well as the closest intersecting streets, as most taxi drivers do not know street numbers. On some of the main roads, the intersecting roads are numbered and are called soi.

Visa

>> List of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand

Electricity

Electricity in Thailand is 220 Volts with the frequency of 50 Hz. The plugs are Type-A (flat blade attachment plug) and Type-C (round pin attachment plug). Some outlets are a combination of type A and C and can accept either type plug.

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